MLB: Jon Gray fires 7 strong innings as Rangers edge Mariners

Jon Gray pitched seven strong innings to outduel Logan Gilbert as the Texas Rangers defeated the host Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

The American League West-leading Rangers won for the seventh time in their past nine games and sent Seattle to just its second loss in its past eight.

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Gray (2-1) allowed one run on four hits. The right-hander didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

Rangers reliever Jonathan Hernandez hit two batters with pitches in the eighth, but Brock Burke came on to strike out Jarred Kelenic and end the threat. Will Smith struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.

The only run Gray allowed was a solo homer to right field by Ty France with one out in the bottom of the first inning.

Gilbert (1-2) took a perfect game into the seventh inning, retiring the first 18 batters he faced.

But the right-hander couldn’t make it through the seventh.

Marcus Semien, who was 1-for-16 in his career against Gilbert, led off the seventh by grounding a single up the middle, just past diving shortstop Jose Caballero.

After Robbie Grossman was caught looking at a called third strike, Nathaniel Lowe lined a single to center and Adolis Garcia walked, loading the bases.

Josh Jung hit a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the score at 1-1, and Jonah Heim hit a soft liner to center, scoring Lowe from second to give the Rangers the lead. Trevor Gott replaced Gilbert and got Ezequiel Duran to fly out to end the inning.

Gilbert struck out the side in both the second and third innings and fanned Semien leading off the fourth to match a franchise record with seven consecutive strikeouts. The mark was set by Mark Langston in 1984 and tied by Luis Castillo last September.

Gilbert allowed two runs on three hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. He finished with 10 strikeouts, one shy of his career high.

–Field Level Media

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